8 Unique Ways to Repurpose Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays

Used Christmas Trees are being used to rebuild sand dunes devasted by Hurricane Florence at emerald Isle,North Carolina
© Charles Wayne Lytton/Shutterstock.com

Written by Nikita Ross

Updated: December 28, 2023

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Each year, people buy an astounding 25-30 million real Christmas trees, many of which they improperly dispose of. While local recycling programs have helped offset this waste, eco-minded tree shoppers are looking for more sustainable ways to repurpose their Christmas trees.

In this article, we’ll cover eight unique ways to repurpose your Christmas Tree after the holidays. Consider using a few options on this list to use the entire tree!

Create Natural DIY Pine Cleaner

Pine infused vinegar cleaner, zero waste cleaning.

Soak pine needles in vinegar to create a natural, effective, chemical-free cleaner.

©Indre Pau/Shutterstock.com

Repurposing your Christmas tree after the holidays can help you offset another household pollutant: chemical cleaners.

Use your needles for that pine-fresh scent minus the toxins. Place a few pine needles in an airtight jar and fill it with white vinegar. You can add other Christmas scents, like citrus peels, cloves, or cinnamon sticks.

Leave the mixture for a few weeks, then strain the vinegar into a glass spray bottle. Mix with equal parts distilled water—it must be distilled to avoid mineral breakdown over time. Use an opaque spray bottle and store it in a dark area to extend your cleaner’s lifespan.

Create Your Own Mulch

organic mulch

Make your own mulch for a nutrient-rich garden.

©Apostoloff / GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE – Original / License

Another easy way to use your Christmas tree after the holidays is to make your own mulch. Use a wood chipper to cut up your tree and add this organic matter to your compost or garden for a thriving spring season!

Return It to Nature

Old Christmas tree recycling, a man carrying a green pine in the trash after Christmas and New year holiday.

Take your Christmas tree to a forested area and let the animals use it for shelter.

©Xenlumen/Shutterstock.com

If you live in a rural area, you can drag your Christmas tree to the woods and return it to nature. The tree will naturally decompose and offer shelter and nutrients to local wildlife.

If you have a pond on your property, you can drop it in to shelter fish and frogs from predators. This shelter will encourage breeding, adding to the natural ambiance and helping control the mosquito population around your home.

Propagate and Grow More Trees

forestry plantation propagation

Did you know you can propagate your Christmas tree like a house plant?

©Janelle Lugge/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever thought about growing your own Christmas tree? You can, by taking a few cuttings from this year’s tree!

Use clean scissors to cut a few small branches. Strip away the lower needles and plant the cut edge in damp potting soil, using rooting hormone for optimal results. Place your cuttings in indirect sunlight, misting them regularly until roots form in 6-8 weeks.

Transfer to a larger pot or outdoors when the ground is thawed. This process works best when you take a cutting from a fresh tree, so consider starting this experiment at the start of the season.

Grow Mushrooms

the blooming white oyster mushroom ready to plucked for harvest in house of mushrooms

While hardwood is optimal for mushroom growth, some species will grow on hardwood.

©Lordgarn/Shutterstock.com

Growing delicious edible mushrooms has become a hot trend. While conifers and softwoods aren’t ideal for mushroom growth, a few species will be happy with your Christmas tree: Phoenix Oyster, Hemlock Reishi, and Italian Oyster are a few options to consider.

Create Natural Decor Elements

Christmas and Advent decoration candles with branches, nuts. Orange slices and cinnamon stick arranged on a tree slice.

Use a wood slice to create coasters or centerpieces.

©Racamani/Shutterstock.com

Another way to use your Christmas tree after the holidays is to create treasured memories by transforming your tree into natural decor. Turn slices of the trunk into an ornament or coasters, marking the year the tree graced your home.

You can also use wood slices to edge your garden or create unique walkways and garden markers.

Create Scented Needle Pouches

Pine needle sachet in white drawstring bag of scented herbs with space for copy for banner or website header for health, wellness, botanical, nature.

Pine needles deter pests.

©Pegasene/Shutterstock.com

Transfer some pine needles into packets to place in your drawers for a fresh, natural scent that deters pests.

Keep a few in natural fabric pouches to throw into your campfires during the summer. The scent of burning pine needles will keep the bugs away!

Donate to Local Initiatives

Used Christmas Trees are being used to rebuild sand dunes devasted by Hurricane Florence at emerald Isle,North Carolina

Many coastal regions use old Christmas trees to help prevent erosion.

©Charles Wayne Lytton/Shutterstock.com

Another great way to repurpose your Christmas tree after the holidays is to donate it to local initiatives. If you lie in a coastal region, check with the Department of Natural Resources to see if they have a program.

In Connecticut, old Christmas trees help prevent erosion in the dunes. North Carolina took a similar approach after Hurricane Florence, laying old Christmas trees on the sand to protect and rebuild the dunes.

Check with local wildlife centers and non-profits to explore your options.

How to Repurpose Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays: A Summary

How to Repurpose Your Christmas TreeEffort Involved
Create Natural DIY Pine CleanerLow Effort
Create Your Own MulchHigh Effort
Return It to NatureLow Effort
Propagate and Grow More TreesMedium Effort
Grow MushroomsHigh Effort
Create Natural Decor ElementsMedium to High Effort
Create Scented Needle PouchesLow Effort
Donate to Local InitiativesLow Effort


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About the Author

Nikita Ross is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering plants, gardening, and yard care. Nikita has been writing for over seven years and holds a Marketing diploma from NSCC, which she earned in 2010. A resident of Canada, Nikita enjoys reading in her library, epic beach naps, and waiting for her Coffea arabica plant to produce coffee beans (no luck yet).

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